I'm not certain whether Blogger is playing-up this afternoon or whether it's just my PC. I tried downloading Internet Explorer 8 this week and somewhere along the line my Explorer menu bar disappeared and is defying all efforts to recover it, including a 'System Restore'. Meanwhile, I've fallen back on Google's 'Chrome' as my browser but without ClearType, it doesn't look so good.
On Friday evening, I met Conservative Blogger, Iain Dale. He was giving a talk on political blogging at the North Foreland golf club and I was interested to hear, among other things, that he also suffers from the attentions of left-wing 'trolls'. I'm very lucky I suppose, with only the occasional overnight abusive comments left by the 'usual suspects' but I can't imagine what it must be like when you have up to 100,000 visits a day. I've placed a link to Iain's blog on the sidebar should you happen to be interested in what a really successful weblog looks like.
This morning, I was involved in a mass leaflet –drop at Dane Valley, the last before the by-election. I was given Irvine Drive, which reminded me, quite sadly, of the last time I was there and I duly delivered a leaflet to the same house that was at the centre of attention, now without its white tent and ring of police officers.
Staying on the subject of Dane Valley, I can't quite understand why the independents are reportedly distributing the leaflet in the photograph. It doesn't' make a great deal of sense to me other than to suggest they have 'thrown in the towel'. I wonder if anyone else knows. I'm sure that next week's election results will prove very interesting for anyone with a keen interest in Thanet's politics but from Labour's point of view, it's probably important to have it before the Chancellor's pre-budget speech on December 9th, if Treasury sources are correct. These suggest that Mr. Darling will sharply downgrade his economic predictions, forecasting a slump of 4.75 per cent for 2009. That would rival the worst year of the Great Depression of the 1930s, highlighting the terrible toll the banking crisis has taken.
In the Budget the Chancellor forecast a 3.5 per cent contraction for this year and the difference will wreak havoc with the public finances, which already show a Government hugely in debt and borrowing at record levels. Around the corner of course is the fear that the now semi-nationalised banks, already bailed-out with taxpayer's money, will reveal a significant exposure to financial turmoil in Dubai. I'm out in that direction next month on business and so may return with some insight of my own.